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Utah Football: Devontae Booker's 2016 NFL Draft stock

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Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

When Devontae Booker made the decision to hold off going to the NFL for another year, Ute fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief. Booker more than likely would have landed in the second or third round of this season's draft, but he now has the opportunity to make more of a mark on the college football landscape.  Also, an opportunity to show potential employers what he can do, and get some more teams looking at his resume.

Despite the fact he no doubt would have been drafted this season, he has moved up higher on the early 2016 prospect boards that he was on this season's. There were quite a few running backs drafted in 2015, which was a change for the better as far as running backs are concerned. In recent drafts, the position has become less desirable to take early for teams. With those players in the draft may have been a reason he decided to stay put.

Overall, some publications have him on of the top 25 seniors in next year's draft. As far as running backs go, he's ranked anywhere from the number one prospect to number five. Some have compared him to Houston Texans RB Arian Foster. "He runs just like (Foster), same number, not a lot of [expletive] when he scores," one scout said of the Utes runner. "He's good. It's weird how much he's like Arian Foster. Just wait until they give him the rock more."

Booker showed how he can take and dish out punishment when running the ball. He had issues with fumbles at the beginning of 2015, but seemed to fix that problem as the season went along. He does need to work on his pass protection. There were a few instances in 2015 where missed blocks resulted in easy sacks for the opposition. He was rarely taken down by the first tackle, and if he got to the second level, he often ended up in the endzone.

This season will be a huge year for Booker. He seemingly came out of nowhere in 2015. He'll have more of a target on him this season. If he can shine in the spotlight, he should be one of the first running backs taken in the 2016 NFL Draft.